JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Pizza lovers across the state have been getting "lost in the Delta" since 2007, but it was not until recently you could "get lost" in the Metro. Looking at the lunch time crowd word has gotten out that Indianola-based Lost Pizza is open in Jackson.
The ninth location opened in Maywood Mart on July 7. The latest Lost Pizza has been opened by Indianola natives Jones McPherson and his brother, Will.
They chose to franchise the fast-casual pizzeria, because they were fans.
"Eaten there countless times, so I knew it was a good product and I've seen it grow from one restaurant to seven, and soon to be 10," Jones McPherson said.
Lost Pizza was started by Preston Lott and Brooks Roberts in Indianola in 2007. Lott and Roberts opened a second location in Cleveland, but their expansion stopper there.
Over the years fans have jumped on board opening restaurants all over the state in Tupelo, Starkville, Grenada, Southaven and Ridgeland.
The McPherson's own three in Jackson, Memphis and Columbus, which has not opened yet. They were the first franchisees to take Lost Pizza across a border, into Tennessee.
"Once we broke ground in Memphis everything got real," Jones McPherson said. "Started cutting checks, real money. It quit being an idea and it became a real thing."
That also means real jobs, according to director of operations for the McPherson owned locations, Jim Hunter Walsh.
"On average it's between 30 and 35 (employees), but between the nine (restaurants) total there's easily 270 people," Walsh said.
At 25-years-old Jones McPherson has wasted no time putting his MBA to use. In fact Lost Pizza proved a worthwhile assignment while at Millsaps.
"Instead of doing fake case studies on fake businesses or other people's businesses I was able to translate all of my assignments and homework to Lost Pizza."
No longer business theory in a classroom, the entrepreneurs behind this pizza joint are now getting a piece of the pie.
"We get to watch the brand grow, we get to be a part of it from the ground up," Jones McPherson said.
They are projecting that their third Lost Pizza, and the 10th overall, will open in Columbus in the fall.